‘Hey, Mister Eurovision Song Contest Man’: Won’t you take a listen to these songs?

Across the world tonight, millions of people are tuning-in to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. There will be the usual twinkly, pant-suited, satin-draped performers, with an excess of dry ice, singing about love, broken hearts, world peace and the weather.

While I like the idea of Eurovision, I doubt I’ll be watching, as I’ve always thought this fun competition tends to overlook better songs by greater artists, who know how to write an unforgettable tune.

The first that comes instantly to mind is “Mr Eurovision” by that great musical genius, Neil Innes.

Is there any other tune that gives the best of what Europe has to offer (in assorted cliches) with such a ludicrously catchy tune?  I am still flummoxed as to explain how the UK never took up this work of unparalleled brilliance. 

“Mr. Eurovision” originally appeared on The Innes Book of Records, which was one of the great high points in TV history, and now deserves to be repeated.

Indeed, there’s a petition to Get ‘Innes Book of Records’ back on TV!, which you can sign here.

Another catchy tune, which is guaranteed to make you dance as incoherently as a drunk Uncle at a Christmas party, is “Prisencolinensinainciusol.”

“Prisencolinensinainciusol” should have been Italy’s Ace card in the Eurovision stakes. First released in November 1972, “Prisencolinensinainciusol” was written by Adriano Celentano, and recorded by Celentrano and his wife, actress Claudia Mori.

When asked the meaning of “Prisencolinensinainciusol,” Celentano claimed that having recorded albums of songs on social and environmental issues that meant something, he wanted to record an album of songs that meant nothing. He added that if “Prisencolinensinainciusol” meant anything it is about the ‘incommunicability’ of modern life.

It has also been suggested that the non-sensical lyrics (“My eyes wide senseless/And I guess I’ll throw me a diesel/Eyes”) are supposedly how Italians hear English. So, take your pick.

But sadly, there always has to be a loser, and what could be a better choice than “Pif, Paf, Pof”? The wonderful, little number composed by those game chaps Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson, for their sitcom The High Life.

Previously on Dangerous MInds

Neil Innes, ‘the seventh Python’: How Sweet To Be An Idiot


Posted by Paul Gallagher
04:18 pm



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